Spring Miniatura
NEC, Birmingham, UK
30th & 31st March 2019
Future Show Dates - TBA
Monday, 30 October 2017 13:18

My Life With Miniatura

My life with Miniatura

This may seem an odd title, but my life has indeed been bound up with the show since those careless days when I attended as a visitor with my seven year old Eleanor (now just turned forty!). These days I barely get to look around as we struggle to man our busy stand.

We have just had a very successful weekend at the show and I was able to bank over £6000 for Cancer Research UK, thanks to the kindness of the Hopwoods who have been giving us a free table for almost thirty years, and not forgetting all those exhibitors and visitors who have donated things for us to sell. But how did it all begin?

When, in 1986, I joined the Marlborough Committee for Cancer Research UK — or the Campaign, as it was then — I determined to think of fundraising events that had two specific features: first, that they would make a decent amount of money and second that people would want to come to them. Too often we were holding coffee mornings, asking people to make cakes for it, and making a few hundred pounds.

Our first attempt was a Teenage Dance in Marlborough Town Hall. This I do not recommend. We frisked the kids at the door (we could never do that these days!), some were sick outside, all seemed to find too much to drink......you can imagine the rest.

The next year was the beginning of the rest of my life as I suggested holding a dolls house fair, still in the atmospheric Victorian Town Hall. The first thing I did was ring Muriel Hopwood for advice. She told me everything I should do, sent templates for booking and conditions of attendance, and could not have been more generous. The first sale made £1500 from sales of things we had made, then the donations started coming in and at our final sale we took £19100!

But I was done in. I am not organised and I lurched from fear to crisis with worry over exhibitors, advertising, weather, and the creation of the furniture and kits we made for sale. I decided I had had enough and assumed that would be the end, but the donation train could not be stopped. Back to Muriel & Bob for help and we were offered a table at Miniatura free of charge.

That’s how it began, and over the years exhibitors have created special items for us to commemorate the milestone Miniatura years, such as the fortieth (ruby) show. On one occasion Muriel found a large number of plastic Easter eggs destined for a bin and we had a competition for clubs that provided much entertainment. Does anyone still have a photo of their entry?

Now we are arriving at another milestone: the 70th Miniatura, so let’s make it a grand event and support the exhibitors and organisers with enthusiasm. You will be supporting Cancer Research UK too, and I would like to take this chance to thank all the many people who have helped me over the years and become wonderful friends.